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Burleson Family Y-DNA Study 2010  
by John Hoyle Burleson

In the early part of 2007, I entered the Burleson Family DNA project hoping an expert would tell me about my true roots.  The only roots that has surfaced so far, has been dug up by myself, after many hours of digging.  I would like to share what I have learned. The facts that I know now are: Five of the first six Burleson participants DNA markers match and I am in that group designated as Haplogroup I1. The Family Tree DNA company definition of this group is "probably have its roots in northern France.  Today it is found most frequently within the Viking/Scandinavian population in northwestern Europe and since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found in low frequencies."

Within the I1 group there are five certain markers that determine if you are leaning more towards the Norse spectrum than the Anglo-Saxon.  I was tested on three of the five markers and matched two and was only one digit off on the third.

RESULTS: We are predicted to be in the I1a Viking/Scandinavian haplogroup.

I have personally contacted the other four Burleson participants with DNA markers that match mine and have recorded and confirmed their ancestral line. For privacies reasons I will only identify the participants as A, B, C, and D.  I will list their most distant known ancestor and the genetic distance from me, a descendant of Isaac Burlison Sr. b. abt.1750, member of Capt. Charles Polk Mecklenburg Co. NC militia 1776, resettled in Montgomery Co. NC, d. between 1810 and 1813. We do not know who his father was.  The other two most distance ancestors in this report were Aaron Burleson and David Burlison.

Aaron Burleson better known as Aaron II today was born in New Jersey according to his son Joseph, was granted land on Sandy Run Creek in Mecklenburg/Tryon Co NC. in 1766, resettled in Washington Co. NC/TN where he left a will and died in 1782. His descendants are well documented.  We do not know who his father was.

David Burlison b. abt 1755, first appears on Rocky River, Anson Co. NC in 1778 were he served in Col. Wade's Militia, resettled in Montgomery Co. NC until 1806 when he moved to Rutherford Co, TN where he left a will and died in 1832. His descendants are well documented. We do not know who his father was.

A. Descends 6 generations from Aaron II and is only a genetic distance of one from me.

B. Descends 9 generations from David and son John, a genetic distance of two from me.

C. Descends 7 generations from David and son Hilkiah, genetic distance of two from me.

D. Descends 8 generations from David and son  ?  is a genetic distance of three from me.

#A. and myself with a genetic distance of one, have a 90 % chance that our common ancestor was within the last 8 generations.

#B.& C.  and myself with a genetic distance of two, have a 90% chance that our common ancestor was within the last 12 generations.

#D. and myself with a genetic distance of three, have a 90% chance of having a common ancestor that was within the last 14 generations.

I will not try to explain why the genetic distance of B., C. and D are different because they all descend from David Burleson b. abt 1755 d. 13 Aug. 1832 in Rutherford Co. TN.  We need a DNA expert for that. David was a brother to my Isaac proven by several letters written by Sarah Rowland to her father, David Burleson.  In two of her letters she mentions "old Aunt Martha Burlison" and "Aunt Patty Burlison"(wife of Isaac)

We can thank another child of David for revealing the relationship of Aaron II, to David.  In a letter written by Hilkiah to his father David about 1824 stated he "bought land from Cousin Joseph Burleson" in Alabama. Joseph was a son of Aaron II. It is uncertain if Hilkiah meant that Joseph was his 1st cousin or if Joseph was his fathers 1st cousin.  By this statement we can assume that if Joseph and Hilkiah were first cousins then Isaac, David and Aaron II were brothers.  If Hilkiah meant that Joseph was a first cousin to his father David, then we can assume that Aaron II was an uncle to David and Isaac.  This scenario is more likely, and I believe to be true, because of the fact that Aaron II was born at least 20 to 30 years before Isaac b. abt 1750 and David b. abt 1755.  I will not try to explain why the DNA matches between the descendant of Aaron II and myself, a descendant of Isaac, are closer than they are to David.  Again we need an expert in that field.

My latest digging has produced more results.  The Y-Search website allows individuals to upload their DNA results to the Y-Search website into a searchable base by Surnames Matches or Genetics Matches. I encourage everyone that has taken a DNA test to upload their numbers into the free Y-Search program because the Burleson Program at Family Tree DNA has not been Administrated since 2007.

In the past two years I have communicated with a half dozen people that has a matching DNA to me but has another surname.  This situation is called a "non-paternal event" which is caused by an adoption or a name change or infidelity/extramarital event somewhere back in the line.  I know no better way to state it because Y-DNA is passed from father to son only.  I was helping an Internet friend, Virginia, to solve the mystery of how Burleson DNA got in her Francisco family line.  Her brothers DNA matched mine with a genetic distance of only two, the same distance as the descendants of David Burleson. She gave me the names of all her Francisco Family line back to the mid 1600`s when they were in New Jersey.  I was sure I could help and sent back to her the dates and places I knew that the Burleson Family and the Francisco Family were together and they are well documented.   The places are,

1. Anson Co. NC 1763 tax list and deeds, 

2. 1776 deed in Mecklenburg Co. NC near the Montgomery Co. NC line. 

3. Sandy Run Creek Mecklenburg /Tryon Co., Cleveland Co NC today.  John Francisco married Rebecca Shipman daughter of Elizabeth Burleson (by tradition) and Daniel Shipman. 

4.  Springs Creek Church in Overton Co. TN 1806.  I'm sure they went on to Arkansas and Texas together. This should have been an easy mystery to solve.

While I was typing all I knew about the two families’ connections at 2 o'clock in the morning of 24th Dec, Virginia was doing the same.   Her research was very thorough and she had just recently discovered a young Francisco ancestor in the mid1800's that was living in the household of a Burleson neighbor in a 1800's Census. So the mystery is pretty much solved.  Her last document was a listing of all the Burleson burials in the Knoxboro Cemetery on South St, in the town of Augusta near where her Francisco family has lived for generations.  There were a total of 31 names on this list and there are dates as late as 1943 and some dates went back as far as 1772, 73, 75, 76, and 1778.

Wait a Minute!!  That can't be.  There are no known Cemeteries with Burleson's that old that I know of. Wait a Minute!! Where is the Town of Augusta?  I failed to ask where the lady was from.  There can be but one answer, my friend was looking for a Francisco/Burleson connection in the North while I have been looking in the South.

My Southern Burleson DNA and the Northern Francisco/Burleson DNA matches to a 90% chance of having a Common Ancestor within 12 generations.  I am the 7th generation from my earliest documented ancestor Isaac Burlison b.abt.1750.  My line has several marriages of 30+ year old men and teenaged girls, but most of the other Burleson lines are 8 and 9 generations from the year 1750.  If the remaining 3, 4 or 5 generations (average of 4) of the 12, fall within the time between the earliest documented Southern Burleson of 1757, and the earliest date of the Burleson Family in New England 1655, and they surely must, it can only mean one thing.  All of the Burleson Families in the United States must descend from the Northern Branch.       

At 2.30 in the morning it was too late to e-mail to ask where is the town of Augusta, but deep down in my broken heart I knew it had to be in New York or Connecticut.  After a sleepless night, next morning I told my wife Nancy that I was the smartest person in the world because I knew something that nobody else knew but I wasn't sure if I wanted the facts to be known. She was not impressed; I must to have used that line before.  I was still hoping there was a chance that the two families, Northern Francisco and Southern Burleson, had met in the mid 1800`s.  My Southern ancestors, all of them farmers, had never been further north than within a rifle shot of the Rock Wall at Gettysburg. Some of those boys did go a little bit further North.  The Union Army took the captured and wounded and sent them to Elmira Prison in New York state, but that was not for a social visit, in fact I think we can rule out a friendly North/ South connection since the first Burleson came South probably about the 1740`s.

Since Christmas I have continued to work with Virginia, now better known as my new cousin Ginger, the nice lady from Augusta, New York and it looks like our findings are accurate.  Her Burleson and Francisco line definitely appears to be 100% from the North with no chance of a Southern Burleson connection.  We still need to get a DNA expert to interpret the math, and I feel certain the genealogy is correct. The final results: North or South we are all one Burleson Family, one bloodline.

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